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Prototyping Final

Pencils Polymer & Pixels
Mid-semester Re-Cap

Introduction
We’ve been exploring a range of “prototypes” the past few weeks through assignments and guest speakers. This presentation is aimed at helping us review what we have been exploring as well as to give a framework by which to explore final projects.

• What do we mean by “prototyping”? • How do we plan and execute at different stages? • How can we work what we have been doing into a final project?

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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What do we mean by “prototype?”
A prototype is traditionally understood as a (somewhat) functional expression of a product, and is often associated with “usability testing” of some sort. In this class we have been expanding upon this to include: • A simulation of a user experience in order to explore options, validate design, and/or communicate an idea. • A prototype can simulate one or more of the following: concepts, visual design, physical design, interactions, and content, and can be implemented through hardware and/or software.

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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A closer look at purposes…
• Exploration: as a part of the design process, it can be helpful to “try things on.” Traditionally this is done by sketching or whiteboarding. But we can bring more sophisticated tools into the process and ensure that we capture and express this work in some sharable way. • Validation: once we’ve identified some desirable ideas or interactions that form and communicate a direction, we can use a prototype to validate that idea with users or clients. • Communication: as we design increasingly complex experiences, our sketches and models become critical story telling devices. With some additional structure prototypes can be used to better explain a new behavior or experience.

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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The different types of prototypes
• Concept Exploration: done early, rough mockup of core experience, words, images, sequences, patterns • Concept Validation: often an evolution of the exploration that is understandable to users /non-ITP, generally one focused task or exploration to test the value proposition • Interaction/Experience Exploration: following/ overlapping Concept Validation, refined mockups on an area of a UI or HW operation or combination of the two • Interaction/Experience Validation: often evolved from explorations, a simulation of the experience, generally focused on key tasks • Technical Exploration: a series of trials on technology platforms, components and or materials • Technical Validation: a more refined and operating version of the explorations, test drive, focused on critical areas

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Concept Exploration
You might want a “Concept Exploration” prototype if… • This a new concept for a product  You can benefit from quickly mocking up competing ideas to see what they feel like, or what they offer. • It does (or could) involve unusual or limiting hardware  Early, rough mockups of different controllers or form factors can be helpful to try out different options. Examples:

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

Page 6

Concept Validation
You might want a “Concept Validation” prototype if… • You need to know if users (colleagues) understand the design  Go to users and colleagues to quickly gauge their reactions to the offering. And, if done early enough, lets you iterate and refine before you get too far down the road. • You need proof that an unusual idea is valuable/ desirable  Because you think it is compelling is not always enough. Some simple quantitative data, or comparative evaluations can help substantiate the concept. Examples:

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Interaction/Experience Exploration
You might want an “Interaction/Experience Exploration” prototype if… • You have the opportunity to work with motion or atypical interface elements  Working with Flash or other simulation tools can help you try out new interactions and without being scared that they won’t work in the end. • The experience is one where users need to understand and manipulate a dynamic interface  The product involves complex data display or manipulation of an object that can only be understood though trials and experience Examples:

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Technical Exploration
You might want an “Technical Exploration” prototype if… • The product does (or could) involve new technology  You need to run several options to understand capabilities or trade-offs • You need to prove that a feature is possible  Different technologies support different features. Prototyping can help make sure that the proposed functionality is actually worth implementing. Examples:

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Technical Validation
You might want a “Technical Validation” prototype if… • You need to prove that a technology is viable, or that it will perform well enough  The only way to know if the technology will meet requirements is to do a test drive.

Examples:

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Communicating with prototypes
(Re-)use your prototypes as communication vehicles when… • Anyone outside the work needs help understanding the experience • Documenting the experience in text is prohibitively complex • You need a presentation/sales tool to sell the idea to anyone Often, once you’ve made a prototype for your own needs, it’s easily re-usable as a communication vehicle. You can adapt and prepare the presentation of existing elements or, you can create prototypes just to communicate something that might otherwise be misunderstood. Examples:

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Usability Testing
You might want “Usability Testing” if… • You need to know if users understand your concept • You need validation that users can interact with controllers or other affordances • You need to know if tasks can be completed • You need to know how someone reacts to a design • You need to prove the value of a design • You need to understand if a behavior change is possible

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Prototyping: what, when, and why

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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Final Project Will Show…
• Exploration: Prototype as ideation. Multiple iterations used quickly to test, expand and visualize ideas and concepts. Examples include words, sketches, motion studies, models, materials etc. Explorations must be documented, not merely described and should include outside input from potential users. • Validation: Prototype as proof. Rapid refinement and development of areas within explorations. Examples include paper mock-ups, functioning elements of mechanics, sample forms, semifunctional elements of UI. Simulated experience. • Communication: Prototype as story telling medium. Examples include animated simulation, semi-functional performable tasks. The midreview and final review will concentrate on this area but should not be confined only to mid and final review. Communication should extend out throughout the project.
Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes
ITP Spring ’09 Michael Jefferson Page 14

Final Project Schedule…
• Goup 1: Paul, Brittanie, Michael, Adi, Andrew, Joora, Mid Review – 4/6 Final Presentation – 4/20 • Group 2: Jeehyun, Nahana, Nicholas, Dimitris, Jason, Angela Mid Review 4/13 Final Presentation 4/27

Pencils, Polymer & Pixels | working with prototypes

ITP Spring ’09

Michael Jefferson

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